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Myths and Caves

Scrolling through the web, we can see on the leading media outlets unattainable examples of holiday homes carved into the rock, in the slopes of land facing the sea, or in the ground’s folds. These are places designed to perfection with the best possible technologies. But they also refer to the distant history of humanity.

Roaming the web and the pyrotechnic world of social media for images of hypogene dream homes and second houses extracted from disused quarries or real caves. Useless to disturb ancient myths and modern literature related to fantastic cities such as Matera, other places in Italy or otherwise. It is interesting to understand how a renewed and reorganized wellness in our psyche, thanks to the modern technologies of light, air, and water management, can bring a man and his imagination back to the nest, shelter, or in these terms, home.

One could say that the house in the Balearic Islands or the hypogea villa in Greece are indeed dream places, where the filter between interior and exterior is extensive, blurred, and left open to interpretation. The pools and spas invade these two territories and act as visual and physical comfort. It would not otherwise be possible to appreciate such solutions in a period of forced closure. One might then wonder if after the treehouses (of course Plato, Calvin), the ice hotels, the houseboats, these Chthonic houses, strongly linked to the earth and hard stone, might be, in a certain sense, a significant representation of the times in which we are living. It is an almost natural transition to a solidity that we learn as children thanks to the three little pigs’ Disney fairy tale. The danger, the wolf, the virus will not cross the threshold of a house dug into the stone, sunk in the ground, securely fastened to the rock.

Then we think of the visual restitution of solid rock walls, perhaps with some sign of ancient workings. We imagine peering at the sky in the living room of a villa in Greece that cuts the slope and highlights the sea. We think about how many myths, stories and, traditions a place, a super home like that can evoke and, why not? Create. These are extreme cases, unique, but the fact that the major newspapers and publications enjoy finding examples of these escapes, real or dreamlike that they are, makes you think you could imagine a new home, a second home, a place of escape. Surprisingly, stone, rock, and the naked earth are the protagonists of a new aspirational vocabulary.

By Giorgio Tartaro

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